Drive-in ‘Christmas Carol’ to be staged at GSU stadium

This season the Alliance Theatre will present an outdoor version of "A Christmas Carol: The Radio Play," a new version of a holiday classic, for a drive-in audience in the parking lot of the Center Parc Stadium, formerly Turner Field. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

The Alliance Theatre’s disrupted 2020-2021 season gets off to an unusual start this holiday season. It begins with a drive-in version of “A Christmas Carol” staged at a sports stadium parking lot and a one-woman Christmas special presented online.

Atlanta’s biggest theater company revealed Thursday that the Charles Dickens yuletide drama will be performed in the parking lot of Georgia State University’s Center Parc Credit Union Stadium, formerly Turner Field.

The theater company will construct a pop-up stage and install a big video screen on what was the Gold Lot (back when the Braves played in downtown Atlanta), providing what they call “a live concert-style experience.”

The theatrical drama, one of the Alliance’s most durable attractions year after year, has been redrawn as “A Christmas Carol: The Live Radio Play,” directed by Leora Morris, with a small cast performing the many parts. It will be performed Dec. 4 through Dec. 23. (The season gets underway virtually on Nov. 27 with a streaming version of “A Very Terry Christmas,” featuring writer and star Terry Burrell.)

Writer and star Terry Burrell will present "A Very Terry Christmas" online beginning Nov. 27, offering jazz-influenced versions of holiday favorites. Photo: Alliance Theatre

Credit: Alliance Theatre

Credit: Alliance Theatre

Tickets for the new version of “A Christmas Carol” will start at $50 per car, with a maximum of six passengers per car. Tickets will be sold for different sections in the parking area, denoted Gold, Red, and Green, and cars will be assigned to spaces in those sections on a first-come, first-served basis. Vehicles taller than six feet will be asked to park at the sides of the lot to avoid blocking the view for other patrons.

Each car will be assigned two dedicated spaces, one for the vehicle and one for tailgating. Audiences will be invited to “enjoy the outdoor space beside their car” if they desire, though masks will be required of anyone who is outside their vehicle.

All tickets will be sold online or through the Alliance app, and admissions will be through touch-free scanning. The audio for the performance will be broadcast through an FM transmitter, making it a radio play in truth. Ticket sales began this week for Alliance members and will open to the public on Oct. 21.

The reinvented Dickens classic is the Alliance’s creative way of dealing with a pandemic that has crushed theater in Atlanta and elsewhere. “A Very Terry Christmas” was originally planned for an in-person run on the fabulous new Coca-Cola Stage at the Alliance’s home in the Woodruff Arts Center, but instead, it is being filmed for streaming on the online platform, Alliance Theatre Anywhere.

The Alliance’s first-ever animated production for youth and family audiences, Sit-In,” was originally scheduled to stream on Alliance Theatre Anywhere beginning this month, but will now be streamed in early 2021.

Switching places with “Sit-In” is “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience,” which was filmed in March 2020, before COVID-19 forced the production to close early. It will be streamed on Alliance Theatre Anywhere Oct. 21 through Nov. 3.

Information about tickets and prices is at the Alliance website.

EVENT PREVIEW

A Christmas Carol: The Live Radio Play

Enjoy this timeless Charles Dickens classic as you travel across time with Ebenezer Scrooge, Marley, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Tickets go on sale Oct. 21 and are sold per car — not per person. Guests can purchase one ticket for the entire car (maximum 6 passengers).

Tickets begin at $50 per car. Center Parc Credit Union Stadium. 755 Hank Aaron Drive SE, Atlanta. 404-733-4650, alliancetheatre.org.

In Other News